Section 185AA of the Customs Act 1901 (Cth) deals with Failing to Allow Searching of People and is extracted below.
Our exceptional criminal lawyers are vastly experienced and highly successful in defending Customs Act cases.
Call us today on (02) 9261 8881 for a free first appointment.
185AA Searches of people on certain ships or aircraft
People found on ships and aircraft boarded under section 185
(1) A person may be searched for the purposes set out in subsection (1A) if:
(a) the person is found on a ship or aircraft that has been boarded under paragraph 185(2)(a); or
(b) the person has been placed on a ship or aircraft under subsection 185(3AA).
(1A) If a person may be searched for the purposes set out in this subsection, the person, the person’s clothing and any property under the immediate control of the person, may, without warrant, be searched to find out whether the person is carrying, or there is hidden on the person, in the clothing or in the property:
(a) a weapon or other thing capable of being used to inflict bodily injury or to help the person escape; or
(b) a document, or other thing, that the officer or other person has reasonable grounds to believe may afford evidence of the commission of a relevant offence.
Note: Division 1B of this Part provides search powers in respect of certain persons suspected of unlawfully carrying prohibited goods.
(1B) For the purposes of subsection (1A), a document, or other thing, carried or hidden on a person, in a person’s clothing or in a person’s property, may afford evidence of the commission of a relevant offence only if:
(a) in a case where the person is found on a ship in Australia—the document or other thing may afford evidence of the commission of an offence, either in or outside Australia, against this Act, section 72.13 or Division 307 of the Criminal Code or an Act prescribed by the regulations; or
(b) in a case where the person is found on a ship outside Australia—the document or other thing may afford evidence of the commission of an offence:
(i) in Australia against this Act, section 72.13 or Division 307 of the Criminal Code or an Act prescribed by the regulations; or
(ii) in Australia’s exclusive economic zone against an Act prescribed by the regulations; or
(c) in a case where the person is found on an aircraft in Australia—the document or other thing may afford evidence of the commission of an offence, either in or outside Australia, against this Act or section 72.13 or Division 307 of the Criminal Code.
People found on ships boarded under section 185A
(2) A person may be searched for the purpose set out in subsection (2A) if the person is found on a ship that has been boarded under paragraph 185A(2)(a).
(2A) If a person may be searched for the purpose set out in this subsection, the person, the person’s clothing and any property under the immediate control of the person, may, without warrant, be searched to find out whether the person is carrying, or there is hidden on the person, in the clothing or in the property a weapon or other thing capable of being used to inflict bodily injury.
Power to examine things found
(3) If a search is conducted under this section, an officer may examine any thing found in the course of the search (including, if the thing is a document, by reading the document directly or with the use of an electronic device).
(3A) In exercising the power to examine things, an officer may do, or arrange for another officer or other person having the necessary experience to do, whatever is reasonably necessary to permit the examination of the things.
(3B) However, when examining a thing found in the course of a search, an officer must not damage the thing by forcing it, or a part of it, open unless:
(a) the person being searched has been given a reasonable opportunity to open the thing or part; or
(b) it is not reasonably practicable to give the person such an opportunity.
Powers to take possession and retain things found
(3C) If, in the course of a search for a purpose set out in subsection (1A) or (2A), a weapon, document or other thing referred to in that subsection is found, then:
(a) in the case of a search conducted by an officer—an officer may take possession of the weapon, document or thing; and
(b) in the case of a search conducted by a person who is not an officer—the person must take possession of the weapon, document or thing and give it to an officer.
Limit on removal of clothing during search
(4) This section does not authorise an officer, or another person conducting a search pursuant to subsection (5), to remove any of the person’s clothing, or to require a person to remove any of his or her clothing, except the person’s outer garments (including but not limited to the person’s overcoat, coat, jacket, gloves, shoes and head covering).
Limit on who may conduct search
(5) A search under this section of a person, and the person’s clothing, must be conducted by:
(a) an officer of the same sex as the person; or
(b) in a case where an officer of the same sex as the person is not available to conduct the search—any other person who is of the same sex and:
(i) is requested by an officer; and
to conduct the search.
Protection if officers etc. act in good faith
(6) An action or proceeding, whether civil or criminal, does not lie against an officer who conducts, or a person who (at the request of an officer) conducts, a search under this section if the officer, or person, acts in good faith and does not contravene subsection (7).
Limit on use of force to conduct search
(7) An officer or other person who conducts a search under this section must not use more force, or subject a person to greater indignity, than is reasonably necessary in order to conduct the search.
Evidence may be used in prosecutions etc.
(7A) To avoid doubt, if, when exercising powers under this section, an officer or other person who conducts a search under this section obtains evidence of the commission of an offence against a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory, then that evidence may be used, or given to another body for use, in:
(a) investigating the offence; or
(b) proceedings for the prosecution for the offence.
However, this subsection does not override or limit the operation of a law of a State about the evidence that may be used in proceedings for an offence against a law of that State.
(8) In this section:
officer means any of the following:
(a) an officer within the meaning of subsection 185(5);
(b) an officer within the meaning of subsection 185A(7).
References to person found on a ship or aircraft
(9) In this section, a reference to a person found on a ship or aircraft includes a reference to a person suspected on reasonable grounds by an officer of having landed from, or left, the ship or aircraft.
Why Choose Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?
Going to court can be nerve-racking, but having a strong and compassionate legal team behind you can make the experience significantly easier to deal with. Here are 12 reasons to choose our multi-award winning legal team:
Proven Track Record of Exceptional Results
Sydney Criminal Lawyers® consistently achieves outcomes which are in the highest percentile of the Judicial Commission’s sentencing statistics for criminal cases.
Our legal team devises effective case-strategies and fights hard to have cases dropped entirely or charges downgraded – saving clients the time, expense and stress of a defended hearing or jury trial.
Where cases nevertheless proceed, our lawyers have an outstanding track record of winning defended Local Court hearings, and complex jury trials in the District and Supreme Courts.
We also consistently win appeals in the District and Supreme Courts (including the NSWCCA) after clients have received unsatisfactory results with other law firms in the lower courts.We are one of the few firms to achieve successful criminal law appeals in the High Court of Australia.
Where our clients wish to plead guilty, we frequently achieve ‘dismissals’ and ‘non convictions’ in cases where other lawyers have advised there is no chance of doing so.
Highest Level of Client Satisfaction
We have the best and most comprehensive client review record of any law firm in Australia.
Regular communication, accessibility and quality service are our team’s highest priorities.
We are committed to thoroughly explaining all steps involved in the criminal law process, providing regular updates throughout the proceedings, and making ourselves accessible and responsive.
We are passionate about providing an exceptional level of service to our clients, and we fight hard to achieve optimal results in the shortest period of time.
Australia’s Most Awarded Criminal Law Firm
We have received more awards and accolades than any other criminal law firm in Australia. Our team has been awarded “Criminal Defence Firm of the Year in Australia” in a number of prestigious and competitive awards programs for several years running.
The awards recognise our exceptional track record of results, our outstanding client service, the high level of satisfaction we achieve, the affordability of our services and our overall excellence.
We want our clients to know exactly how much their cases will cost from the very start. That’s why we were the first criminal law firm in Australia to publish ‘fixed fees’, back in 2004.
We offer fixed fees for most types of criminal cases and services.Our fixed fees apply to a range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, drug possession, fraud, common assault and AVOs, and also specific services such as prison visits, bail applications, appeals and defended hearings.
Unlike many other law firms, our fixed fees are published on our website – which ensures transparency and certainty.
Free First Appointment
For those who are going to court, we offer a free first conference of up to an hour with one of our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers.
We also offer a free first conference to those who have received an unsatisfactory result after being represented in court by another law firm, or after representing themselves, and wish to appeal.
Specialist Lawyer Guarantee
We guarantee that only lawyers with substantial criminal defence experience will work on your case and appear for you in court.
This ensures our clients receive the highest quality representation from an experienced, specialist criminal lawyer.
All NSW Courts
From Bombala to Broken Hill, our lawyers appear in courts throughout New South Wales – and across Australia for Commonwealth cases.
And we offer fixed fees for most criminal and traffic law cases throughout the state.
Our entire firm is exclusively dedicated to criminal law – which makes us true specialists.
All of our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in criminal cases, and our principal has been certified by the Law Society of NSW as an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist since 2005.
An ‘Accredited Specialist’ is a lawyer who has practised for at least 5 years in a particular field of law (such as criminal law), has passed a rigorous assessment process conducted by the Law Society of NSW, and has been selected by the Specialist Accreditation Committee of the Law Society as an expert in the field.
Accredited Specialists are required to undertake more training each year than other lawyers and must be successful in having their accreditation renewed every year. Specialist Accreditation is the mark of a true specialist.
Our firm’s specialist experience ensures you receive the best possible result, whatever your criminal law case may be.
Results-Focused Law Firm
Our team is passionate about achieving results, and unlike many other law firms, our lawyers do not have monthly financial ‘budgets’ to meet.
The absence of budgets means our lawyers are entirely focused on achieving optimal results in the shortest space of time; whether by getting charges dropped or downgraded at an early stage or having cases ‘thrown out of court’.
Not having budgets also means our lawyers are not under pressure to engage in unscrupulous practices such as unnecessarily adjourning cases or ‘overcharging’ clients – which, sadly, is a common complaint against many other lawyers and law firms.
No budgets encourages regular consultation between lawyers within the firm – promoting an ‘open door’, team environment where lawyers bounce ideas off one another, formulate case strategy together and benefit from each other’s specialised experience, methods, techniques and insights.
The result is a firm which delivers optimal outcomes in the shortest time periods, at the least expense and stress to our clients.
Team of Lawyers Behind You
Our clients benefit from the pool of knowledge that only an extensive team of experienced criminal defence lawyers can provide.
Our lawyers regularly consult one another to stay ‘ahead of the pack’ in the ever-changing field of criminal law – constantly devising, refining and implementing specialised techniques which ensure our clients achieve the best possible outcomes.
A team approach is particularly important when it comes to serious criminal cases such as murder, commercial drug cases, serious and sexual assaults, large-scale fraud, robbery and other ‘indictable’ cases.
In such matters, clients reap the benefits of several lawyers devising and executing case strategies which maximise the chances of having cases dropped or downgraded at an early stage, or ‘thrown out of court’ – often saving clients a great deal of cost, time and anxiety.
Familiar with Magistrates and Judges
Each of our lawyers appears in court on a daily basis, and has done so for years. We have therefore been able to develop an understanding of, and rapport with, magistrates and judges in Sydney and indeed across the state.
Our team’s extensive experience before the courts ensures your case is tailored to the specific nuances of individual judicial officers, maximising the likelihood of a favourable result.
We have offices in locations across the Sydney Metropolitan Area and beyond, including:
- the Sydney CBD, on Castlereagh Street, directly opposite Downing Centre Court,
- Liverpool, directly opposite Liverpool Local Court, and
- Parramatta, near the justice precinct.
We offer free parking at our Sydney CBD and Liverpool locations, and all of our offices are close to train stations and bus terminals.
For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skye and FaceTime anywhere around the world.
If you are going to court and wish to arrange a free first consultation, call our 24 hour hotline on (02) 9261 8881 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.